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01 OCTOBER 2012

Rocksmith: guitar game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

"Introducing the next stage in the evolution of the guitar game. Rocksmith™, the first and only game where you can plug ANY real guitar into your PC/MAC, Xbox 360® or PlayStation®3 system, and actually learn while you play.

When we say any guitar we mean any guitar. Whether it's the guitar sitting in your attic, your cherished faithful steed, or the guitar you have yet to buy..."

(Ubisoft Entertainment)

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TAGS

2012 • authentic experience • bass guitar • computer gameconvergencedeviceelectric guitarguitarguitar gameinteraction designinteractive music gameslearn by doing • learn while you play • musical instrument • physical guitar • physical interactionphysical interfacesplayingPlaystation 3product designre-purposereal thingrock music • Rocksmith (game) • simulating interactions • Ubisoft Entertainment • usabilityvideo gamevideogames and playXbox 360

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 SEPTEMBER 2011

Citizen science: predicting protein structures with a multiplayer online game

"People exert large amounts of problem–solving effort playing computer games. Simple image– and text–recognition tasks have been successfully 'crowd–sourced' through games, but it is not clear if more complex scientific problems can be solved with human–directed computing. Protein structure prediction is one such problem: locating the biologically relevant native conformation of a protein is a formidable computational challenge given the very large size of the search space. Here we describe Foldit, a multiplayer online game that engages non–scientists in solving hard prediction problems. Foldit players interact with protein structures using direct manipulation tools and user–friendly versions of algorithms from the Rosetta structure prediction methodology, while they compete and collaborate to optimize the computed energy. We show that top–ranked Foldit players excel at solving challenging structure refinement problems in which substantial backbone rearrangements are necessary to achieve the burial of hydrophobic residues. Players working collaboratively develop a rich assortment of new strategies and algorithms; unlike computational approaches, they explore not only the conformational space but also the space of possible search strategies. The integration of human visual problem–solving and strategy development capabilities with traditional computational algorithms through interactive multiplayer games is a powerful new approach to solving computationally–limited scientific problems."

(Seth Cooper, Firas Khatib, Adrien Treuille, Janos Barbero, Jeehyung Lee, Michael Beenen, Andrew Leaver–Fay, David Baker, Zoran Popović & Foldit players)

Nature 466, 756–760 (05 August 2010) doi:10.1038/nature09304 Received 22 January 2010 Accepted 30 June 2010

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TAGS

algorithm • biochemistry • biomedicalcitizen sciencecollaboration • computational approaches • computational challenge • computer games • computing science • crowdsourcingdiscovery through designDNA • DNA sequence • Foldit • gamesimage recognitioninsight through designinteractive gamesmulti-player • multi-player online game • Nature (journal) • non-scientists • online gameplaying • predication • problem-solving • protein structure prediction • protein structures • scientific problems • scientists • structural biology • text recognitiontheory buildingvisual problem-solvingvisual representation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 SEPTEMBER 2011

Welles and Toland's use of deep screen space in Citizen Kane

"It begins with young Charles Kane in long shot, playing with his sled in the snow. The camera then pulls back to reveal that it has been shooting through a window. This effect creates a visual metaphor. The boy playing in the snow is not as free as he at first seems. Just as his image is suddenly confined by a window frame, so his life will be circumscribed by a decision that is being made for him inside the house. Kane's mother appears at the window calling out to her son to 'Be careful,' and 'Put your muffler around your neck, Charles.' As the camera tracks back, wards from the window into the space of the house, it reveals Mr. Thatcher standing at the right of the window. He says, 'We'll have to tell him now.' Ignoring this comment, the mother replies, 'I'll sign those papers now, Mr. Thatcher.' From frame left Kane's father appears, saying, 'You people seem to forget that I'm the boy's father.' The camera tracks backwards as Mrs. Kane walks over to a desk in the foreground of the image and sits down to sign the papers, with Thatcher seated next to her. An argument ensues in which the father, who appears in the middle ground of the image, strongly protests the mother's decision to hand his son over to a bank and threatens to take the case to court. The mother is icily adamant in honoring the agreement she has made with Thatcher. In exchange for the bank's full assumption of the management of the gold mine (the Colorado Lode), the bank which Thatcher represents will assume full responsibility for all matters concerning the boy's education and place of residence. Mr. and Mrs. Kane will receive fifty thousand dollars a year as long as they both live. This last bit of information, which Thatcher reads aloud, silences the father, who mutters, 'Well, let's hope it's all for the best.'

Throughout the scene, while all this activity takes place, we can see the boy Charles playing with his sled far in the back of the image, in extreme long shot, framed by the window pane, and totally oblivious to the momentous decision his mother has made about his life. Because of the length of the shot and the careful blocking of the action, our eye is free to focus on whichever player we choose, or our attention can wander from one player to another, as if we were spectators in the theater.

At the same time, the camera places us sufficiently close to the actors in the foreground of the image that we can read their expressions with much greater clarity than would be possible in the theater. We can look for clues in the frozen but somehow anguished expression of Mrs. Kane for why she is so determined to separate herself from her son. We can wonder in observing the slightly exasperated and nervous expression on Thatcher's face what kind of guardian he will make for a young boy. Or we can observe the father's angry, worried expression and wonder why he backs down. The father's position further back in the screen space makes him seem smaller than his wife and Mr. Thatcher, his diminished size somehow appropriate to his lack of power to influence his son's fate. The crowning brilliance of the scene is the tiny image of Charles Kane far in the depth of the screen space. Although the film is about him and in later scenes he will loom large indeed, here he is a tiny speck. On first viewing the film, some may not even notice him. But his understated presence playing outside the window, shouting 'Union forever' as his mother is about to send him off into the world without her, is one of the most poignant moments in film."

(Marilyn Fabe, 2004, p.85–86)

3). Marilyn Fabe (2004). "Chapter 5 Expressive Realism" in "Closely Watched Films: An Introduction to the Art of Narrative Film Technique", University of California Press (3 Aug 2004)

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TAGS

1941bank • blocking of the action • boycamera • Charles Kane • cinematography • circumscribed • Citizen Kane • Colorado Lode • composition • confined • deep focusdepth of the screen spacedesign formalism • diminished size • editing through selection • extreme long shot • fatefigures in spacefilmframe • frame-within-a-frame • framed by the windowframingfreedom • gold mine • Gregg Toland • lack of power • length of the shot • long shot • long takesmise-en-sceneOrson Wellesphotographyplayingscene • screen image • screen space • significant actions • sled • snowsnowballtheatrical spacetracking camera • union forever • visual designvisual languagevisual metaphorwindowwindow frame

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 JULY 2011

Chris O'Shea @ Nottingham GameCityNights Episode 6

"Headlining Episode 6 is artist and designer Chris O'Shea, known internationally for his immersive, interactive multimedia work. Using Microsoft's Kinect, Chris will be talking us through the melding of videogames and play into contemporary art, with demonstrations of his previous and current projects."

(GameCityNights, 24 June 2011)

Fig.1 Chris O'Shea (2010). "Air Guitar prototype"

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TAGS

2011 • 3D skeletal tracking • air guitar • applied research • artist and designer • artistic practiceBritish artistChris OSheaconceptualisationcorrelative analoguedesign researchdesign researcherdesignerdevice • Dr Sketchy • experimentationGameCity • GameCityNights • gamesgraphic representationguitarGuitar Hero • hand tracking • high-fidelity prototypehistogramimmersiveinteraction designinteractive multimediainteractive music gamesKinect • LibFreenect • MicrosoftNottingham • OfxKinect • OpenCVOpenFrameworks • OpenKinect • OpenNI • playingpractice-ledprototyperesearch project • Rock Band • speculative designtheory buildingUKusabilityvideogames and playvisualisationXbox Kinect

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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